Since the birth of MySpace, Corporate America has viewed social networking sites as an interruption to normal productivity… a distractive nuisance that must be contended with if you wanted to keep the workflow moving along.
The solution of course, was to forbid employees from visiting these websites on company time, a policy that was enforced by removing all access to anything that looked remotely like an online social haven.
But maybe that strategy wasn’t such a good idea after all.
The truth is, social networking sites foster a collaborative creativity that you just can’t find anywhere else and at the Academy, we’ve made a conscious effort to incorporate social media into our workplace for this very reason.
Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are actually a great place to get inspiration and the beauty of these resources is that you can access data from a diverse range of people with an equally diverse range of opinions, be it someone that resembles your target market or employees that work for a competitor’s firm.
The result is that you not only get to see how others are doing things, but you also get to hear how their choices are working out.
This kind of invaluable information allows you to tweak your marketing campaigns accordingly, create new services in response to a growing need and modify your systems to accommodate new venues of communication.
In short, social networking is truly a must-have if you want to grow your firm.
This philosophy is apparently becoming more popular as researchers and experts have begun to realize the unique benefits that social media can offer.
In a recent article at Advertising Age (http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=142701), author B.L. Ochman notes that resistance to social network access isn’t just a bad idea… it’s futile.
This statement is based on the growing number of mobile internet users across the globe. “Do your employees carry cellphones?”, she asks. “Well then most of them already have access to YouTube… right in their pockets.”
Obviously, you don’t want to sacrifice the work getting done in the hopes of a random idea popping across your screen, but as Ochman states, “if you can’t trust your employees, you have one of two problems: you’re hiring the wrong people or you’re not properly training the people you hire.”
Hmm… now, where have I heard that logic before?
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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